WPI President Laurie Leshin departing for directorship with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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WORCESTER — Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has been named director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a California-based space-exploration organization affiliated with NASA.

Leshin, a geochemist and space scientist, will leave WPI at the end of the academic year. She was the school’s 16th president, hired in 2014, the first woman to lead WPI.

“We know that this comes at a time when strong and consistent leadership is more important than ever,” WPI said in an announcement of Leshin’s departure. “An interim president will be voted upon soon by the board.”

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